Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has said there is a ‘guarantee’ that Real Madrid are ‘very interested’ in Erling Haaland ahead of the summer transfer window, but equally refused to rule out the superstar striker staying put.
Haaland has been widely tipped to move on from Dortmund in the summer, when a release clause of around €75m kicks in, and most of Europe's top clubs are keeping an eye on the situation.
The 21-year-old Norwegian has been heavily linked with Manchester United and Manchester City, both of whom need a ‘number nine’. Chelsea have also not been ruled out of the race despite already investing £97.5m in Romelu Lukaku, while Bayern Munich and PSG are also in the equation.
Even though financial problems have forced Barcelona to massively cut back on spending, they too are regularly being linked with an ambitious swoop.
But while Haaland is hot property in the transfer market because of the clause that potentially caps a transfer fee way below his true value, Dortmund still hope to persuade him to stay.
“It can be that he leaves, but it can also be that he stays,” Watzke continued.
“A few days ago, I had a very good conversation with Mino Raiola. That phone call was quite friendly. We will certainly have another meeting in the next few weeks.
“The focus is on the overall development of Haaland. Just like with [Robert] Lewandowski, I would like to be proud of Erling at some point if he wins the Champions League. Personally, I think it's good for him if he stays in the Bundesliga a little longer.”
Dortmund are contractually obliged to automatically accept a €75m offer if a club triggers Haaland’s release clause, but 90min understands they will attempt to maximise the money they will get by potentially negotiating an instalment plan with bidders.
The nature of the release clause means it has to be paid up front in one go, whereas Dortmund are open to accepting a staggered payment plan that can be spread out if it means a higher fee overall.